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Nigeria’s local content participation in the oil and gas sector will be increased from its current 10% to 40% by 2027. According to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva – who spoke during a tour of Lee Engineering and Construction Company’s fabrication plant located in Warri, Delta State – the country needs to carry out deliberate policies to achieve full industrialization and wealth creation through local job opportunities.
H.E. Minister Sylva further pledged the government’s support for indigenous oil and gas companies, stating that only through the government’s patronage and support can the Local Content Act be fully implemented. Under the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the government plans to set up the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority to regulate operators in the midstream and downstream industries. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PIB is currently under consideration by the National Assembly.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) are the present regulators of the downstream oil and gas sector. The Department of Petroleum Resource also regulates activities in the upstream and the downstream sector. H.E. Minister Sylva had announced that PEF and PPPRA would merge to form a new regulatory body, the “Authority.” This would help to harmonize downstream activities for efficiency in service delivery to Nigerians.
The PIB lists the functions of the regulator to include regulating petroleum liquids operations, domestic natural gas operations and export natural gas operations, among others. NAN reports that the Senate passed the new PIB for a second reading on October 20, and created a committee that would work on the bill for further deliberation. The committee was given eight weeks to carry out its duties. The new bill noted that with the Authority, the sector will be properly regulated for effective and efficient service delivery.
Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) has begun the construction of the City Gate Gas Plant to ensure safe transmission of gas-to-power, enabling business growth in Aba, Abia State’s commerce hub. The plant carries a capacity 10 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd), equivalent to 40MW of gas-to-power electricity generation capacity. City Gate Plant will provide customers with high-quality gas at a reduced cost, as the plant will remove impurities from natural gas and odorize the gas to increase quality to end users. Aba City Gate plant complements SNG’s recently completed 20km domestic gas pipeline expansion project in Abia, connecting Agbor Hill, Osisioma and Ariaria industrial zones.
Leader in offshore geochemical exploration and heat flow measurement, TDI-Brooks International, in partnership with the French environmental firm Créocéan and Benthic Solutions, announced it has completed an Environmental Baseline Studies for Total offshore Cote D’Ivoire. The survey was conducted on offshore blocks CI-705 and CI-706, and included seawater sampling and profiling (CTD rosette) as well as plankton sampling (bongo net) at seven stations; sediment sampling (Mega Box Core) at 45 stations; and live feed benthic video sled at 24 transects. The two blocks cover an area of around 3,200km2 and include multi-target hydrocarbon prospects in water depths ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 meters. For this operation, TDI- Brooks deployed the R/V Proteus vessel, equipped with a geotechnical toolkit including 20-m JPCs and 40-m CPT-Stinger/Samplers, along with other TDI-Brooks standard SGE, HF, survey, EBS, cable route and other services.
On October 22, oil prices ticked up but struggled to fully recover from the previous session’s losses, when an increase in U.S. gasoline inventories signaled a deteriorating outlook for fuel demand, as coronavirus cases continue to soar. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 1.5% at $40.61 a barrel, while Brent crude futures were up 1.4% at $42.31 a barrel at 10:30 AM ET (14:30 GMT).
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on October 21 showed a 1.001 million-barrel draw for the week ending October 16; against analysts’ expectations of a 1.021 million-barrel draw. Prices remain under pressure from the gradual increase in production in Libya, which is now estimated to be producing at over 500,000 barrels a day (bpd), up from barely 100,000 bpd just a few months earlier. The world economy that appears to be weakening again as COVID-19 spreads rapidly in Europe and North America is ill-positioned to absorb the extra supply. Investors remain concerned about weak fuel demand as the number of COVID-19 cases in Europe and some U.S. states continue to climb.
Fears were also exacerbated by China’s decision to restrict outbound travel to curb the spread of the virus. Diminishing hopes that the U.S. Congress would be able to pass the latest stimulus measures before the election on November 3 also contributed to a worsening outlook.